Henrietta Highlands in Henrietta, N.Y.
Courtesy, Morgan Properties Henrietta Highlands in Henrietta, N.Y.

The top four firms on the NMHC Top 50 Owners list, which ranks the number of units owned as of Jan. 1, remain the same from 2019. MAA stays in the top position with 100,031 units, followed by Equity Residential with 80,624 units, AvalonBay Communities with 79,886 units, and Starwood Capital Group with 75,409 units.

Morgan Properties, based in King of Prussia, Pa., rocked the multifamily world in October 2019 by acquiring 80 apartment communities across eight states in one transaction. The deal of the year moves them from No. 19 on the list to No. 5. It also jumps from No. 28 on the NMHC managers list to No. 12.

Mitchell Morgan founded Morgan Properties in 1985 with the purchase of a 1,395-unit portfolio from a local developer. The firm hasn’t slowed down since as value-add has become a strength for the company. MFE posed a few questions to president Jonathan Morgan and principal Jason Morgan about its success and what’s ahead.

MFE: To what do you attribute your company’s success and its rise in the ranks of the NMHC list?

Jonathan Morgan, Morgan Properties
Jonathan Morgan, Morgan Properties

Jonathan Morgan: Morgan Properties is extremely well positioned for acquisition opportunities and poised for future growth. We pride ourselves on our quick decision making, extensive local market knowledge, strong balance sheet, and excellent capital relationships.

Since 2013, Morgan Properties has acquired over $7 billion of total acquisition volume, comprised of over 50,000 apartment units, solidifying our organization as a top multifamily owner in the country. Morgan Properties has a proven track record as a value-add multifamily investor and is currently the largest multifamily owner in the states of Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland.

MFE: The COVID-19 virus has added an unforeseen roadblock to everybody’s business this year. How does Morgan plan on getting through the challenge?

Jason Morgan: Morgan Properties leverages off its seasoned executive team who is battle tested—having endured prior recessions—and is well prepared to withstand the COVID-19 crisis. We continue to provide for our residents at this time of uncertainty, and we remain committed to ensuring their health and safety is our top priority.

Jason Morgan, Morgan Properties
Jason Morgan, Morgan Properties

We feel that we have the best and brightest in the industry. Our team is always rising to the occasion, regularly communicating and quickly responding to this rapidly evolving situation.

The only fixed concepts in our business are our ethics and the culture that defines us. We have remained quick and nimble to adjust our corporate policies and procedures as we see fit. We remain fully confident that we will weather the storm and emerge even stronger as an organization going forward.

MFE: How will the value-add end of the business be affected?

Jason Morgan: We expect the value-add projects are likely to slow in the short-term as multifamily owners remain focused on collections, but multifamily owners who are well capitalized are poised to sustain their operations and pursue value-add repositioning opportunities over time. We feel that the market dislocation will soon present an attractive buying opportunity for those value-add multifamily investors who are able to weather a modest slowdown.

MFE: What makes you optimistic about the future?

Jonathan Morgan: The multifamily fundamentals remain strong, and the future of our industry is bright. Our business is essential and will always have intrinsic value in providing workforce housing for our residents. We are extremely bullish on the long-term trajectory of the multifamily industry, and we look forward to continued success.

1. MAA Germantown, TN H. Eric Bolton, Jr. 100,031/100,864 1
2. Equity Residential Chicago, IL Mark J. Parrell 80,624/79,260 2
3. AvalonBay Communities, Inc. Arlington, VA Timothy J. Naughton 79,886/78,549 3
4. Starwood Capital Group Miami, FL Barry S. Sternlicht 75,409/76,932 4
5. Morgan Properties King of Prussia, PA Mitchell L. Morgan 70,052/50,664 19
6. Related Companies New York, NY Jeff Blau 69,369/69,300 5
7. Edward Rose Building Enterprise Bloomfield Hills, MI Warren Rose 65,600/64,662 6
8. Greystar Real Estate Partners Charleston, SC Robert A. Faith 63,306/62,045 7
9. The Irvine Company Newport Beach, CA Jim Krohn 62,254/60,592 8
10. Essex Property Trust, Inc. San Mateo, CA Michael J. Schall 60,040/60,200 10
11. Hunt Companies, Inc. El Paso, TX Chris Hunt, CEO 58,340/60,217 9
12. Cortland Atlanta, GA Steven DeFrancis 58,033/50,955 18
13. Monarch Investment & Management Group Franktown, CO Bob Nicolls 56,633/49,788 20
14. Weidner Apartment Homes Kirkland, WA Jack O'Connor 56,262/52,624 15
15. Camden Property Trust Houston, TX Richard J. Campo 56,107/55,160 14
16. BH Equities, LLC Des Moines, IA Harry Bookey 55,950/58,411 11
17. PGIM Real Estate Madison, NJ Susan Mello 55,152/56,404 13
18. Lincoln Property Company Dallas, TX Tim Byrne 54,200/58,375 12
19. The Michaels Organization Camden, NJ John J. O'Donnell, CEO 52,119/49,521 21
20. UDR, Inc. Highlands Ranch, CO Tom Toomey 51,294/48,860 22
21. JPMorgan Asset Management New York, NY Brett Kahn 50,037/51,241 17
22. Nuveen Real Estate (formerly TH Real Estate) New York, NY James Martha 49,401/38,410 23
23. Balfour Beatty Communities Malvern, PA Christopher Williams 48,862/51,333 16
24. FPA Multifamily San Francisco, CA Gregory A. Fowler 37,355/28,750 32
25. UBS Realty Investors LLC Hartford, CT Matthew Lynch 37,334/38,351 24
26. GID Boston, MA Bob DeWitt 36,557/28,514 33
27. Dominium Plymouth, MN Paul Sween 35,207/32,215 28
28. Invesco Real Estate Dallas, TX Michael Kirby 35,139/35,416 26
29. American Campus Communities Austin, TX Bill Bayless 33,925/33,542 27
30. Aimco (Apartment Investment Management Company) Denver, CO Terry Considine 32,598/36,292 25
31. American Landmark Apartments Tampa, FL Joe Lubeck 32,000/23,000 44
32. Harbor Group International, LLC Norfolk, VA Jordan Slone 31,609/30,656 30
33. Heitman Chicago, IL Maury Tognarelli 30,866/27,955 34
34. Bridge Investment Group Salt Lake City, UT Danuel Stanger 30,626/26,324 37
35. Westdale Real Estate Investment & Management Dallas, TX Joseph G. Beard 30,427/29,366 31
36. Steadfast Companies Irvine, CA Ella S. Neyland 28,488/30,953 29
37. TruAmerica Multifamily, LLC Los Angeles, CA Robert E. Hart 26,779/24,543 42
38. JRK Property Holdings Los Angeles, CA Bobby Lee 26,697/26,328 36
39. AEW Capital Management, L.P. Boston, MA Jeffrey Furber 26,160/25,766 38
40. Eaton Vance Management Boston, MA Andrew Frenette 25,765/23,680 45
41. Knighvest Capital Dallas, TX David Moore 25,477/22,654 47
42. Southern Management Corporation Vienna, VA Suzanne D. Hillman 25,327/25,327 39
43. Carroll Organization Atlanta, GA M. Patrick Carroll 25,300/27,553 35
44. Security Properties Seattle, WA Bob Krokower 25,120/22,309 new
45. Sentinel Real Estate Corporation New York, NY John H. Streicker 25,100/25,000 41
46. Northland Investment Corporation Newton, MA Lawrence Gottesdiener 24,775/25,037 40
47. AMLI Residential Chicago, IL Greg Mutz 23,949/22,067 43
48. Peak Capital Partners Provo, UT Jeff Danley 23,324/18,726 new
49. Mercy Housing, Inc. Denver, CO Jane Graf 23,182/23,060 new
50. The NRP Group Cleveland, OH J. David Heller 22,884/20,747 49